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FINAL FANTASY VIII review
by Owen Helfer

Some of the FF series' highest highs and lowest lows. Coming off of the huge success of FF7, it is obvious square wanted to double down on the cinematic scale that made the game so popular. This results in some truly fantastic scenes and setpieces (the battle of the gardens stands out). The setup also promises an interesting world and protagonist with some possible moral gray areas and disputes. These steps are quickly betrayed, however, by several downright annoying characters that kill the player's investment in the party. As events unfold, the promising plot is revealed to be a coincidental soap opera with a black-and-white good vs bad conflict at its roots.

As for gameplay, the junction system takes center stage here. It is essentially a beefed up version of materia centered on summons, as opposed to weapons. Junctions, like the plot, are a mixed bag. It is more flexible than materia, allowing for more combinations and strategies to enjoy combat with. However, the extent to which junctions dominate play becomes a problem. Magic is essentially useless, leaving the player to spam guardian summons which take an excessive amount of time to play out. Alternatively, primary attacks also shine when coupled with effective junctions, a welcome change from FF7 where they felt like a waste. The fun falters out in the endgame, however, unless the player has upgraded their weapons. This requires a wild goose chase of finding the right materials and places to construct upgrades, a process which is neither obvious nor fun. 

Another sizable change in FF8 is leveling, which now scales enemies to the party's level. While seemingly eliminating the need for grinding, in actuality this system instead eliminates the feeling of satisfaction and progression from defeating enemies and furthering your quest. Additionally, the frequency with which members are forced out of and in to the party makes it challenging to have a balanced three fighters to use. 

Overall, it's difficult to place this game on the above scale. The first disc or two are very fun and promising, but it eventually resorts to a boring grind for the remainder. These parts of enjoyment prevent me from giving a "meh" rating, but I also struggle to recommend this as a complete experience. I would give the beginning a whirl, but don't feel like you need to see things through to the end. 
Ísak Agnarsson
Couldnt agree less. Sure when the plot changes after visiting Trabia Garden for the first time and lessens the impact of the earlier story perhaps (i'd agree with that point alone) it still is by all means a story to see to the end. It is a unique PS1 game from 1999, which lets enemies scale with you, which to you wasnt fun but to me its a refreshing and fun way to approach at least 1 game, it doesnt follow the tradional jrpg feeling. I loved getting beefed up and sizing up enemies, still having them be able to take me down lol But it was amazing on release, the story was and graphics was phenomenal at the time. You never have to spam GF's, however if you only been leveling up and not using ability mods to get magic, then sure spamming GF's is key. But there are so many ways to approach this game, its awesome. If you wanna kill quickly just put 100 Death on ST attack or Quistis use Degenarator. It is one of the best jrpg's ever made but not all people enjoy it, especially playing it 20 years later. Sure its unbalanced and needed more fine-tuning, its essentially way to easy to cheese the game with Card Mod for example, thats my only complaint really lol
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Other reviews7

When it comes to Final Fantasy the common favourite is always 7. I did play that one first and it was enjoyable yes. But 8 is the one that resonated with me more. I was hyped seeing the trailer for it on my Playstation magazine demo disc then when I finally got to play it I was blown away.

Unlike the previous FF games with the 'chibi' style character sprites, these looked like proper people. The world was fascinating, the characters were funny and relatable (I was an early teen myself) it was brilliant!

I dived headfirst into the world and probably still know it like the back of my hand now. It will always be my favourite of the lot.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
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Microsoft from Deutsch
Not quite as socially critical as its Predecessor, but delivers a great and incomparable Story with interesting Characters, a loving game world accompanied by a unique Soundtrack, as well as an improved Combat System over FFVII. For me, the best Part of the Final Fantasy Series and one of the best RPGs.
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Microsoft from Deutsch
Do not deter because of the low Playing Time, I already played the Original on the PS several times. What to say until Part 9 are all parts recommended anyway. Those who like RPG is wonderfully cared for here. And it's still from the Era where there was no DLC scrap. So a good RPG from Start to Finish, with a good Story line.
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Microsoft from Deutsch
I have to say this Game has accompanied me through my Childhood and thrilled me again and again. I think it's great that this Game has now also made it to the PC using Steam. BUT, perhaps someone could give me a Solution that the Cutscenes are also fluid. With me it always hangs after a few Seconds and the Sound bounces back 3-4 Seconds while the Image is frozen, this partly leads to Asyncing. Otherwise great Game, previously already liked to play and still great. Definitely play.
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Microsoft from Deutsch
Great! However, there are a few Limitations to the Original PSX version in Things Sound, which you can Hurt (unfortunately it is not the CD Soundtrack). What is also a bit annoying, you have to log in via a Square/Facebook Account to play the Game. If you don't like both, you can't play the Game!! Still, one of the best Final Fantasy Parts with a great (LOVE) Story! PS: What's not really mentioned: The booster used in the Game to activate .. F1--> High Speed Mode F2---> Battle Assistance F3---> 9999 F4--> GF-AF MAX F5--> Magic and Gil MAX PSS: HD update can be found here: Http://steamcommunity.com/app/39150 PSSS: CD sound update here: http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=13715.0
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Microsoft from Deutsch
After Dream of FINAL FANTASY VII-you came ' FF8 '. Your Task was not very simple, after all, your Trailblazer was the Light in the Shadows. You brought new Ideas with you in the usual Final Fantasy manners. Z.b. the Card Game that satisfied the Collectibles in me. Constant manual ' R1 '-click for the Squall Gunblade Trigger or the Rape of the ' O ' (circle button) for Cheering on the G.F. led to a Strength Training of my Fingers. You did a lot of things right and I was able to find a little Place in my Heart for you. You couldn't reach your Master FF7, but you were a good Student. Adorned with a stunning Storyline, successful character Design, spectacular Videos and your Mesmerizing Soundtrack (only on PS1 (!), not at the ' Remake on Steam ')-you have emotionally enriched my Life for over 100 Hours. During the End Credits, I glanced at you with a laughing And a crying eye: Hurrah, I won. But also» Live! «, you beloved Heroes ... 99! From a possible 10;-)